History of the Wilmar Presbyterian Church 1861-1974

Originally written by Joe Tooley


This Church had its beginning in 1861. A petition was presented to the Arkansas Presbytery for permission to organize a church at Nelson, Arkansas. The petition was granted and the Rev. J.H. Brown was appointed to carry out the Grant. This was done October 10, 1861.

A log house was built at Nelson, Arkansas, near Nelson Springs; this was later called Saline, Arkansas. There were 23 members enrolled. W.H. McKinstry, W.A. Nelson and R.A. Davis were elected Elders. The Rev. Joseph Alexander Dickson was Pastor from 1861 through 1866.

Rev. J.M. Brown was Pastor in 1867.

Rev. John Wilson was Pastor from 1866 - 1873.

Rev. James Samuel Aruzi Hunter 1874.

In 1876 a frame building was constructed at a cost of approximately $1,200,00.

Rev. William Archibald Wilson was Pastor 1874 - 1876.

The first Deacons were installed in 1875.

Rev. Hugh McMaster Henry was Pastor 1877 - 1878.

John Little Young was Pastor 1879 to May 1, 1881 at which time he was made Pastor half time. There were 50 members at this time. Apparently this condition continued until 1895 at which time the pastoral relation was dissolved, the membership at this time was 91.

The Rev. Thomas Bonner Stewart was Pastor in 1895.

The Rev. Samuel Jasper Patterson was Pastor through 1896.

The Rev. J.W. McCain was Pastor from 1899 to 1906.

In 1904, Beauvoir was a college in Wilmar and there was much discussion as to moving the church from Old Saline to Wilmar. There was much opposition to moving the church and at a meeting of the Arkansas Presbytery in 1904 the matter of building a church in Wilmar was discussed and the Rev. J.A. Smith of Missions was authorized to meet with the Session and the Rev. J.W. McCain and make plans. Those present this meeting were Rev. J.W. McCain, Rev. J.L. Young, W.C. Dickson, S.O. Huey and W.M. Miller. The land for the church, a lot on College Street adjoining Beauvoir College, was donated by Dr. J.T.D. Anderson and Judge I.W. Bird.

The Church was constructed in 1905 at a cost of $4,500.00 and was opened for worship on the Sabbath July 29, 1906, but was not dedicated at this time for there was a debt of $1,000,00 outstanding. The first service was held by the Rev. Harrell of the Wilmar Methodist Church. The debt was paid in 1908 and the Rev. J.W. McCain, Pastor of Saline Church continuing his service as Pastor of the Wilmar Church. J. Spence was Chairman of the building committee, he was also President of Beauvoir College.

In the winter of 1923 the Wilmar A.R.P. Church changed to the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The Rev. J.W. McCain not changing in 1924, Rev. C.C. Cotton was Pastor.

In 1925 and 1926 the Rev's. Sullivan and Stewart Oglesby of Monticello shared the time as Pastors.

In 1926 the Rev. T.W. McCain changed from from the A.R.P. Church to the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. and was assigned to the Wilmar Church which he served as Pastor until 1947.

Rev. Irving Hoge Williams, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church U.S. of Monticello, served the Wilmar church also from 1947-1950.

1951 there were various Pastors who supplied Wilmar.

The Rev. John Robert Hendrick was Pastor from 6-1-1952 to 1-8-1956.

Dr. W.F. Rogers of Warren was Pastor 1956.

Rev. John Russ was Pastor from June 15,1957 to October 1958.

The Rev. David Shepperson, Jr. Nov. 23, 1958 to May 10, 1959.

Philip Lockherd May 17, to August 17, 1959.

Dr. L.E. Wright was Pastor from March 1960 to May 1965.

The Rev. Jerry R. Tompkins, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Monticello, was also Pastor of the Wilmar Church from the Spring of 1965 to 1968.

The Rev. Tom L. Sales was Pastor of the Warren Church and was also Pastor of the Wilmar Church from 1968 until January 1, 1974. At this time, there were only 8 active members of the Wilmar Church and they decided to call it a day and united with the First Presbyterian Church of Warren, Arkansas.

Ministers from the Wilmar Church are Willie Huey, Ona Davis, Robert Huey, Roy Davis, Guy Davis, Grier Davis, and John Bolick. Maggie Belle Miller was assigned to Brazil in the Missionary service.


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Karen Groce / wgroce@wildblue.net
URL: http://bethg.shutdown.com/drew/dwilpres.html
Last updated 12 Apr 2010